After an auto accident

Knowing what to do if you're involved in an accident can save lives and also make the claims process easier

Accident-Skid-Marks

Knowing what to do if you're involved in an accident can save lives and also make the claims process easier:

  • Stop your car and find out if anyone is injured.
  • Call the police or highway patrol. Tell them how many people were hurt and the types of injuries. The police will notify the nearest medical unit.
  • Cover injured people with a blanket to keep them warm.
  • Try to protect the accident scene. Take reasonable steps to protect your car from further damage, such as setting up flares, getting the car off the road and calling a tow truck.
  • Ask the investigating officer where you can obtain a copy of the police report. You will probably need it when you submit your claim to your insurance company.
  • If necessary, have the car towed to a repair shop. But remember, your insurance company will probably want to have an adjuster inspect it and appraise the damage before you order repair work done.
  • Make notes. Keep a pad and pencil in your glove compartment. Write down:

    • the names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident
    • license plate numbers
    • the make and model of each car
    • driver's license numbers
    • insurance identifications
    • the names and addresses of witnesses
    • the names and badge numbers of police officers or other emergency personnel
  • If you run into an unattended vehicle or object, try to find the owner. If you can't, leave a note containing your name, address and phone number. Record the details of the accident.